Showcasing the latest science news stories

'OLDS' NEWS' is a weekly roundup of the most interesting science and technology news stories from around the world. Each week Dr William Olds, Proteintech scientific officer, showcases current news stories keeping you in the loop with the latest industry updates.


Week beginning November 26

  1. No one can serve two masters - Memorial Sloan Kettering scandal raises questions for pharma's biggest corporate boards

  2. From disagreement to ‘Fake News!’ - Scientific polarization

  3. Designer Genie is out of the bottle- China’s gene-edited babies will push bioethics into a dark new era

Week beginning November 19

  1. Brown fat stopped you from that extra turkey leg - Secretin-Activated Brown Fat Mediates Prandial Thermogenesis to Induce Satiation

  2. What T cells want - T cell receptor fingerprinting enables in-depth characterization of the interactions governing recognition of peptide–MHC complexes

  3. Following in Rembrandt’s footsteps - Quantifying reputation and success in art

Week beginning November 12

  1. Think happy thoughts at the dentist - Behavioural and neural evidence for self-reinforcing expectancy effects on pain

  2. Multitasking unitasking for better performance - The Illusion of Multitasking and Its Positive Effect on Performance

  3. Next generation ‘mood rings’ coming soon?- An Amygdala-Hippocampus Subnetwork that Encodes Variation in Human Mood

Week beginning October 29

  1. So...intelligent design then? - Currently available bulk sequencing data do not necessarily support a model of neutral tumor evolution

  2. Space Force, Assemble! - Plans for Space Force Laid Out at National Space Council Meeting

  3. Microbial culture shock - US Immigration Westernizes the Human Gut Microbiome

Week beginning October 22nd

  1. 'Now that's the last (plastic) straw!' - Macro- and microplastics affect cold-water corals growth, feeding and behaviour

  2. Brain Trust - Backed by Bain, Pfizer loads prime CNS assets into new biotech

  3. Inflaming heart - Grief, Depressive Symptoms, and Inflammation in the Spousally Bereaved

Week beginning October 15th

  1. Yikes! - Why Can Only 24% Solve Bayesian Reasoning Problems in Natural Frequencies: Frequency Phobia in Spite of Probability Blindness

  2. Insulin on trial - Minnesota takes aim at Sanofi, Novo, Lilly for insulin prices

  3. Throw away the nicotine gum - An enzymatic approach reverses nicotine dependence, decreases compulsive-like intake, and prevents relapse

Week beginning October 8th

  1. Fasting a fast way to help Diabetics? - Therapeutic use of intermittent fasting for people with type 2 diabetes as an alternative to insulin

  2. Add RNA viruses to your Tinder profile? - Evidence that RNA Viruses Drove Adaptive Introgression between Neanderthals and Modern Humans

  3. May want to check your toothpaste ingredients - A common antimicrobial additive increases colonic inflammation and colitis-associated colon tumorigenesis in mice

Week beginning October 1st

  1. ‘I’ll be back’ - Rise of the Machines: Artificial Intelligence and its Growing Impact on U.S. Policy (Subcommittee on Oversight and Government Reform, House of Representatives)

  2. From germ to cure - Conversion of staphylococcal pathogenicity islands to CRISPR-carrying antibacterial agents that cure infections in mice

  3. Long-tenured NEJM editor retires - New England Journal of Medicine’s longtime editor to retire

Week beginning September 24th

  1. Let me count the ways - Single Neurons in the Human Brain Encode Numbers

  2. There's an app for that - Smartphone Nanocolorimetry for On-Demand Lead Detection and Quantitation in Drinking Water

  3. Muscle’s Origin - Identification of the Human Skeletal Stem Cell

Week beginning September 17th

  1. Pushing the nuclear envelope - House Approves Bill to Maintain America’s Leadership in Nuclear Technology

  2. Big headache for Aspirin - Effect of Aspirin on All-Cause Mortality in the Healthy Elderly

  3. Crooked scheme alleged for Abbvie - AbbVie accused of 'far-reaching' kickback scheme for Humira

Week beginning September 10th

1. Please accelerate this clinical trial - Deciduous autologous tooth stem cells regenerate dental pulp after implantation into injured teeth

2. CRISPR toast for UC Berkeley - The battle over CRISPR patents come to a close.

3. Siberian Bear microbiota - Ultra high-throughput functional profiling of microbiota communities

Week beginning September 3rd

1. Fall of the Berlin Paywall - EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals.

2. At your zinc fingertips - Sangamo Announces 16 Week Clinical Results Including Reductions In Glycosaminoglycans In Phase 1/2 Trial Evaluating SB-913, A Zinc Finger Nuclease Genome Editing Treatment for MPS II (Hunter Syndrome)

3. Hopefully the move makes more money - Theranos Cost Business and Government Leaders More Than $600 Million

Week beginning August 27th

1. Baby’s first immune system - Stereotypic Immune System Development in Newborn Children

2. Mass beats Cal - MassBio: Massachusetts dominates IPO market, VC funding in 2017

3. Beer is no superfood - Alcohol use and burden for 195 countries and territories, 1990–2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Week beginning August 20th

  1. When should I toss away that Rx? - Can You Take Expired Drugs?

  2. Rethinking psychedelics - ‘Microdosing’ is touted by ’shroomers and Reddit users. Science is starting to test their claims — and finding some truth

  3. Breaking leptin’s silence  - Cleavage of the leptin receptor by matrix metalloproteinase–2 promotes leptin resistance and obesity in mice

Week beginning August 13th

  1. Yay, more stuff to worry about! – Broad Institute, Mass General Team Develops Polygenic Risk Scores for Five Common Diseases

  2. Healthy Germs - Development of a synthetic live bacterial therapeutic for the human metabolic disease phenylketonuria

  3. Minding the wage gap - The Growing Executive-Physician Wage Gap in Major US Nonprofit Hospitals and Burden of Nonclinical Workers on the US Healthcare System

 Week beginning August 6th

  1. Microbes made easy! - Emergent simplicity in microbial community assembly

  2. Insider biotech trading - NY Rep. Collins arrested by FBI for insider trading in Australian biotech

  3. Examining racism in policing - Do White Law Enforcement Officers Target Minority Suspects?

Week beginning July 30th

  1. Making sense of missense - Predicting the clinical impact of human mutation with deep neural networks

  2. DNA Spellcheck Coming Soon? - NIH Commits Up to $45.5M to Fund Genome Editing Technology Projects

  3. ‘I call him Gamblor’ - Did a blockbuster drug make hundreds gamble compulsively? A legal fight may decide what science can’t confirm

Week beginning July 16th

  1. CRISPR feeling the burn - Repair of double-strand breaks induced by CRISPR–Cas9 leads to large deletions and complex rearrangements  

  2. Parasite boosts nutrition of host - Cytokinin transfer by a free-living mirid to Nicotiana attenuata recapitulates a strategy of endophytic insects

  3. Allergies are finally good for something - Epithelial damage and tissue γδ T cells promote a unique tumor-protective IgE response

Week beginning July 9th

  1. Aussies can throw away bug spray - Trial wipes out more than 80 per cent of disease-spreading mozzie

  2. Yes, we cannabis - FDA approves first drug comprised of an active ingredient derived from marijuana to treat rare, severe forms of epilepsy

  3. Thinking is temperature-sensitive - Reduced cognitive function during a heat wave among residents of non-air-conditioned buildings: An observational study of young adults in the summer of 2016

Week beginning July 2nd

  1. GABA GABA DOO! - Structure of a human synaptic GABAA receptor

  2. Cut the chit-chat - “Eavesdropping on Happiness” Revisited: A Pooled, Multisample Replication of the Association Between Life Satisfaction and Observed Daily Conversation Quantity and Quality

  3. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - I-Mab closes one of China’s biggest-ever biotech fundraisings

Week beginning 25th June 2018

  1. Beer’s Law - A molecular mechanism for choosing alcohol over an alternative reward

  2. Cracking the ‘codon’ - Codon-specific translation reprogramming promotes resistance to targeted therapy

  3. GE shedding healthcare - GE to spin off healthcare unit in latest restructuring

Week beginning 11th June 2018

  1. Download the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine’s report on Sexual Harassment in STEM - Sexual Harassment of Women: Climate, Culture, and Consequences in Academic Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

  2. Slowing the hype train for CRISPR - CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing induces a p53-mediated DNA damage response

  3. ‘TRIM’-ming neurodegeneration - Depleting Trim28 in adult mice is well tolerated and reduces levels of α-synuclein and tau

Week beginning 4th June 2018

  1. Coffee, the teamwork catalyst - Coffee with co-workers: role of caffeine on evaluations of the self and others in group settings

  2. Safely forgoing chemo - Fewer Breast Cancer Patients Benefit From Chemo, TAILORx Study With Oncotype DX Finds

  3. Strong as an ‘auxin’ - Synthetic hormone-responsive transcription factors can monitor and re-program plant development

Week beginning 28th May 2018

  1. First artificial iris approved - FDA approves first artificial iris

  2. With a little help from my friends - A Larger Social Network Enhances Novel Object Location Memory and Reduces Hippocampal Microgliosis in Aged Mice

  3. What makes something delicious? - The coding of valence and identity in the mammalian taste system

Week beginning 21st May 2018

  1. Big price-tag for migraine drug - Amgen, Novartis' closely watched migraine drug approved

  2. Give this dog a bone - First bone-cracking dog coprolites provide new insight into bone consumption in Borophagus and their unique ecological niche

  3. ‘Right to Try’ bill closer to law - Congress passes ‘right-to-try’ measure, sending hard-fought bill to Trump’s desk

Week beginning 14th May 2018

  1. Thanks for the memories - RNA from Trained Aplysia Can Induce an Epigenetic Engram for Long-Term Sensitization in Untrained Aplysia

  2. The doctor will sequence you now - Genoox raises $6M to help physicians better diagnose patients with genomic data

  3. Wiki’s most cited journal articles - Analyzing DOI Citations in English Wikipedia

Week beginning 7th May 2018

  1. It pays to be small biotech - Small Biotech is much more efficient than large Pharma in developing new drugs.

  2. Going with your gut and your brain - Stomach-brain synchrony reveals a novel, delayed-connectivity resting-state network in humans

  3. Keeping your DNA secret – Alternative models for sharing confidential biomedical data

Week beginning 30th April 2018

  1. One last gift from Stephen Hawking - A smooth exit from eternal inflation?

  2. Teaching (not so well) hospital? - The next generation of doctors may be learning bad habits at teaching hospitals with many safety violations

  3. FDA enhancing medical device safety -  New efforts to enhance and modernize the FDA’s approach to medical device safety and innovation

Week beginning 23rd April 2018

  1. Pharma donates probes - Science Forum: Donated chemical probes for open science

  2. A Myriad of Problems - Class Action Suits Against Myriad Allege Failure to Disclose Medicare Billing Practices to Investors

  3. Superman vision - Observing the cell in its native state: Imaging subcellular dynamics in multicellular organisms

Week beginning 16th April 2018

  1. Now I remember -  Innate immune memory in the brain shapes neurological disease hallmarks

  2. Race and Empathy - Neurocognitive Basis of Racial Ingroup Bias in Empathy

  3. Skeleton Key-truda - Merck looks to catch Bristol with new melanoma data for Keytruda

Week beginning 2nd April 2018

  1. Impact of tariffs on medical products - Proposed China tariffs target dozens of medical products

  2. Splicing up cancer - Somatic Mutational Landscape of Splicing Factor Genes and Their Functional Consequences across 33 Cancer Types

  3. Sharing IP to help vulnerable populations - A New Framework for Evaluating – and Encouraging – Industry’s IP-Sharing Activities for Global Health

Week beginning 26th March 2018

  1. Hunger “Pains” – A Neural Circuit for the Suppression of Pain by a Competing Need State

  2. One man’s trash is another man’s fuel source - Discovery of enzymes for toluene synthesis from anoxic microbial communities

  3. Gene-editing IPO - Homology lands $144M in an upsized IPO to advance gene-editing treatment

Week beginning 19th March 2018

  1. Big Bucks for NIH - U.S. spending deal contains largest research spending increase in a decade

  2. For those who don’t like change - Engineered promoters enable constant gene expression at any copy number in bacteria

  3. Aging brains like lysosomes - Lysosome activation clears aggregates and enhances quiescent neural stem cell activation during aging

Week beginning 12th March 2018

  1. Space changes DNA - NASA Twins Study Confirms Preliminary Findings

  2. Thera-WOES - SEC charges against Theranos, Holmes dispel last shreds of unicorn myth  

  3. Puzzling plants - Why plants make puzzle cells, and how their shape emerges

Week beginning 5th March 2018

  1. Freakishly fast fake news - The spread of true and false news online

  2. Embryo knows obesity - Embryonic defects induced by maternal obesity in mice derive from Stella insufficiency in oocytes

  3. Support scientists’ mental health - Evidence for a mental health crisis in graduate education

Week beginning 26th February 2018

  1. Skin care by S. epidermidis - A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia  

  2. Towards a better mood -Orphan receptor GPR158 controls stress-induced depression

  3. A good year for crop yields cause conflict? - Food Abundance and Violent Conflict in Africa

Week beginning 19th February 2018

  1. Webster’s Dictionary Defines ‘Research Excellence’ as… - Research excellence indicators: time to reimagine the ‘making of’?

  2. One step closer to Amazon Pharma - Amazon selling private-label medications

  3. Stretchy circuits on skin - Skin electronics from scalable fabrication of an intrinsically stretchable transistor array

Week beginning 12th February 2018

  1. Cryptocurrency for DNA -  George Church founds cryptocurrency-fueled genomics firm

  2. Optogenetics goes deeper into the brain - Near-infrared deep brain stimulation via upconversion nanoparticle–mediated optogenetics

  3. CRISPR! CRISPR! Read all about it – The CRISPR Journal inaugural issue published, with content from Rodolphe Barrangou, et al

Week beginning 5th February 2018

  1. No more insulin shots? - In diabetes war, Novo Nordisk aims to break mold with new pill

  2. Added sugars - Structure of the yeast oligosaccharyltransferase complex gives insight into eukaryotic N-glycosylation

  3. MMM…fructose - The Small Intestine Converts Dietary Fructose into Glucose and Organic Acids

Week beginning 29th January 2018

  1. Sizing up Bezos-care - What to make of Amazon and Warren Buffett’s mystery health care project

  2. Understanding Serendipity - Serendipity: Towards a taxonomy and a theory

  3. Fizzy Chemistry - CO2 Diffusion in Various Carbonated Beverages: A Molecular Dynamics Study

Week beginning 22nd January 2018

  1. Breaking down Gene Editing Barriers - NIH to launch genome editing research program

  2. DNA Grows Muscles - A self-assembled nanoscale robotic arm controlled by electric fields

  3. Patience Is Key-truda - Keytruda aces another lung cancer study

Week beginning 15th January 2018

  1. CRISPRing to feed the world: Genome Editing for Global Food Security

  2. Microwaves cause MACRO harm: Environmental assessment of microwaves and the effect of European energy efficiency and waste management legislation

  3. How instability drives metastasis: Chromosomal instability drives metastasis through a cytosolic DNA response

Week beginning 8th January 2018 

  1. Brain Drain: Pfizer pulls back from neuroscience, ending research

  2. Ultrasounding microbiome: Acoustic reporter genes for noninvasive imaging of microorganisms in mammalian host

  3. Baby steps for Human Gene Editing: First In Vivo Human Genome Editing to Be Tested in New Clinical Trial

OLDS News 2017 Review!

Biggest AI Showdown:

Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge

It is an understatement to say that AI had a big year this year with its encroachment into transportation, cooking, and searching for planets. This ancient Chinese game is one of the essential arts of scholars. It is more complex than chess with more legal moves than atoms in the universe. Using deep learning software, this AI beat the number one player in the world, Ke Jie. Next year, it will be exciting to see how AI stops playing and starts working.

Biggest Biotech IPO:

Denali Therapeutics 

Denali Therapeutics wears the crown this year with $248 million raised for its IPO. Neurodegenerative diseases have eluded pharma for decades, but investors have a lot of confidence in Denali’s approach. Denali has one drug in phase 1 trials (DNL201), but the rest of its portfolio is in the pre-clinical stage. Denali will be a fascinating player to watch in 2018 and beyond. 

Biggest CRISPR Story:

CRISPR: Civil (Patent) War 

CRISPR is Biology’s Marvel Cinematic Universe with a bunch of heroes (RNA editor, tape recorder, epigenetic modifier, but it is the patent battle between Berkeley and the Broad Institute that is the most intriguing and has the most implications for the future applications of this technology. Broad Institute has won round 1 with the US Patent Office, but this battle is far from over.

Week beginning 27th November

  1. Okazaki Not So Fragmented -Precise Editing at DNA Replication Forks Enables Multiplex Genome Engineering in Eukaryotes

  2. Unnatural Made Natural - A semi-synthetic organism that stores and retrieves increased genetic information

  3. Fixing a Broken Heart - Cardiopatch platform enables maturation and scale-up of human pluripotent stem cell-derived engineered heart tissues

week beginning 6th November

  1. Life was so much simpler back in my day … - America was Great When Nationally Relevant Events Occurred and When Americans Were Young

  2. Do animals think or react? - Rational Inference: The Lowest Bounds

  3. White House’s Opioid Crisis Commission Update - Here are the final recommendations of the White House opioid commission

Week beginning 23rd October

  1. Enhancing Postdoc Training Experience -  Point of View: What’s in a name

  2. Possible Directions for Bioscience Training -  Point of View: The future of graduate and postdoctoral training in the biosciences

  3. A Brief THESIS of Time -  Step inside the mind of the young Stephen Hawking as his PhD thesis goes online for first time

Week beginning 16th October

  1. Look, ma, no supervision! - Mastering the game of Go without human knowledge.

  2. Unlocking more potential of stem cells - Establishment of mouse expanded potential stem cells.  

  3. Front runners for the next White House drug czar - Next in line as Trump’s drug czar? Names of possible contenders start to circulate. 

Week beginning 2nd October 

  1. Neural autophagy may be key to life extension: Neuronal inhibition of the autophagy nucleation complex extends life span in post-reproductive C. elegans

  2. Pouring your heart out on the page lowers stress: The effect of expressive writing on the error-related negativity among individuals with chronic worry

  3. Evaporating energy prospects: Potential for natural evaporation as a reliable renewable energy resource

Week beginning 18th September

  1. Gut Bacteria Predict Efficacy of Dieting:   Pre-treatment microbial Prevotella-to-Bacteroides ratio, determines body fat loss success during a 6-month randomized controlled diet intervention

  2. $250 million more for 23andMe: 23andMe confirms $250 million round led by Sequoia

  3. Facebook for Proteins: Protein maps chart the causes of disease

Week beginning 4th September

  1. It’s All Greek to Me - The readability of scientific texts is decreasing over time

  2. Sketching Used to Detect Early Stage Parkinson’s - Distinguishing Different Stages of Parkinson’s Disease Using Composite Index of Speed and Pen-Pressure of Sketching a Spiral

  3. SNAP Money Is Not Enough for Affording Healthy Diet - The Affordability of MyPlate: An Analysis of SNAP Benefits and the Actual Cost of Eating According to the Dietary Guidelines

Week beginning 21st August

  1. The Puppeteers of PDL1 - 'Identification of CMTM6 and CMTM4 as PD-L1 protein regulators'.

  2. Long live killifish - 'Regulation of life span by the gut microbiota in the short-lived African turquoise killifish'.

  3. Faster Forensics- 'Rapid DNA Act Signed into Law'.

Week beginning 14th August

  1. The FDA’s accelerated approval program: How are drugs scoring in their “check-up”? - Characteristics of Preapproval and Postapproval Studies for Drugs Granted Accelerated Approval by the US Food and Drug Administration

  2. The brains behind the pig-human chimeras - The creator of the pig-human chimera keeps proving other scientists wrong

  3. A hope for hair loss - Lactate dehydrogenase activity drives hair follicle stem cell activation

Week beginning 7th August

  1. Correction of a pathogenic gene mutation in human embryos  http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature23305.html?foxtrotcallback=true

  2. There’s a Weird Relationship Between Cancer and Alzheimer’s  https://futurism.com/theres-a-weird-relationship-between-cancer-and-alzheimers/

  3. Humor norms for 4,997 English words  https://link.springer.com/article/10.3758/s13428-017-0930-6

Week beginning 17th July

  1. Industry News: Eli Lilly selling 2/3 of cancer pipeline  http://www.fiercebiotech.com/biotech/lilly-puts-two-thirds-mid-phase-cancer-pipeline-up-for-sale-major-shake-up-r-d-priorities

  2. Policy: Glimmer of hope in Dept of Energy research funding http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/07/unusual-candor-senate-appropriators-reject-cuts-energy-research

  3. Lights..Camera...CRISPR: Old-timey movie encoded into bacteria using CRISPR-Cas9 http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v547/n7663/full/nature23017.html

Week beginning 10th July

  1. How FDA Plans to Help Consumers Capitalize on Advances in Science https://blogs.fda.gov/fdavoice/index.php/2017/07/how-fda-plans-to-help-consumers-capitalize-on-advances-in-science/

Week beginning 3rd July

  1. Of mice and men: A comparative analysis of human and mouse islet G-protein coupled receptor expression https://www.nature.com/articles/srep46600 



28 July, 2017


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